Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice (with a Trader Joe’s Cheat!) – Episode 4

It’s easy to make fried rice a meal when you add a little extra protein, either meat or eggs, and a heaping of fresh veggies. In this episode, I’m going for a vegetarian option, so we’ll be adding eggs, scallion, and other crisp-tender goodness. Oh, by the way, yeah, I start with a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen vegetable fried rice. But believe me, the few little tweaks you see here take the meal from “Okay, that was easy and tasted good” to “Okay! I could even serve that for guests!”

If you’d like to make this recipe from scratch and ditch the prepared rice, just use 4 cups of day-old COLD rice from the fridge, and add about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, mixed with a few teaspoons water for your sauce at the end.

Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice (with Trader Joe’s Cheat)

Chunky vegetables makes fried rice so much more delish.

Chunky vegetables make fried rice so much more delish.

One bag frozen, prepared veggie fried rice, like Trader Joe’s brand

Two cups fresh broccoli florets

one bunch scallions, roughly chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Two medium-sized chopped carrots

1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or Teriyaki sauce

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, divided

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, divided

  1. Heat 1 ½ teaspoons of vegetable oil in wok, over medium-high heat.
  2. Add eggs and scallions, breaking up as it cooks. When egg is light golden brown, push mixture to one side of pan.
  3. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of sesame oil to wok.
  4. Add Broccoli and carrots to wok. Cook over medium-high heat until still crisp (about 3 minutes), combining with egg and scallions.
  5. Add remaining oils and bag of frozen Trader Joe’s vegetable Fried Rice, or 4 cups cold rice. Cook until heated through (and rice is a bit crispy), about 5 minutes.
  6. Just before removing from heat, add soy sauce and stir well.
  7. Serve with Sriracha Sauce, if you’re so inclined. Yum!

Amazingly Simple Pesto Spaghetti– Episode 3

Pesto is one of my weekly staples. Basically all you need is a food processor or “mini-prep;” you toss the ingredients in and blend and you’ve got a fresh sauce. Sometimes I’ll pair this with store-bought tortellini or ravioli, instead of spaghetti– and if your kids don’t go for the pesto flavor, you can always serve them the noodles with a smidge of butter/olive oil and fresh mozzarella. You can also change up the basil for arugula (or do a mix of both) for more variety.

Pesto & Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Adding fresh tomatoes to pesto spaghetti makes a one-bowl meal.

Adding fresh tomatoes to pesto spaghetti makes a one-bowl meal.

(Serves 2-4)

2 cups Basil

¼  cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons  Pine nuts

1 clove Garlic

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ c Parmesan cheese

8 oz Whole wheat spaghetti

1 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut into quarters

Fresh mozzarella

  1. Place the first four ingredients (basil through garlic) into the mini-processor. Chop or grind until a paste forms, stopping down to push basil and other ingredients back down.
  2. Add salt and Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Allow pesto to rest 10 minutes before serving, for flavors to meld.
  3. Divide whole wheat spaghetti into bowls. Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of pesto on each serving.
  4. Garnish with cut tomatoes, and dollops of fresh mozzarella. Enjoy!

Photo: Lauren Hunter